Yesterday, I attended a local writers' meeting. Naturally, 'tis the season discussion of the annual Christmas party came up. Limit set on gifts, all important, also a silent auction. Suitable items were discussed.
Well. To me, books are always good, used if the price isn't a match to the limit. Or something that writers could use, i.e. pens, paper and pads. Erasers, even. Magnifying glasses, sticky notes. All good necessary items that writers must have on supply.
So when did these various auctions turn into yard sale goods that do not apply to the purpose of what writers are supposed to be doing?
BTW, the photo of the big goggle-glasses days AND full set of owie BRACES was one illustrating Signed by Cait labels. I had more fun sticking these labels on backs of those who I knew would laugh. You realize there are people who do not enjoy themselves, don't you? :)
But onward into these auctions and gift-giving to writers at Christmas do's....
This morning, I let my stove-peculator perk too long, thinking about groups and behavior and why I may or might not fit into membership. For instance, there's a thrilling new RWA group, Women's Fiction with real pros headlining it. Their professional conduct should be a standard for all groups. I'm wishing this group well and they're headed off to a great start. Barbara O'Neal is acting Wise Woman, and she's a 5X RITA recipient as Ruth Wind and Barbara Samuels, I believe.
Now as for Christmas gifts for writers: I stock up during the year for Christmas, taking advantage of sales. But I also handcraft some items, if that's what you can call jam making, apple butter, breads, etc., plus some sewing you can see at my other blog, My Jam Jar.
With 2010 coming up, I also spend time at the end of the year making my New Year's To-Do. My list is lengthy, but right there is a writers' gift idea: A small holder big enough for index cards. Write out those To-Dos, date them and update them. Index cards are great gifts, so are notebooks and pens, printer paper, stationery, envelopes, whatever. In this economy, we are all watching our pennies, so why not give something useful to a writer?
Also VistaPrint offers a free membership newsletter which has freebies galore. So does their website. By stocking up on these freebies, you've got some nice gifts at Christmas time, and personalized if for family and friends.
I'm thinking of posting a whole load of URLs here for useful writers' tips as my gift to you. Meanwhile, do check my Writer's Survival Guide category.
Prominent on that list for writers would be Twitter and Facebook. This because of all the media work now, the ability to reach out and network. I am learning tremendous things from neat involved, business people like Lorelei King, voice actor, whose posts and followers led me on to discover other interesting people. (Love audiobooks, you know. After a day on my computer screen, it's a nice end of the day, or makes those long cross-country drives a little shorter.)
Plus agents/writers/publishers and agents are all so available. Recently on Twitter, agents answered questions and it was fascinating for hours on a Friday, I believe.
If you are not on either and you are a writer, you're missing good stuff.
I'll have to work on my Christmas list.